Synaptic computation in the visual system


  • Prof Leon Lagnado

    University of Sussex

Project summary

Professor Lagnado will be using his Investigator Award to study how the retina and visual cortex carry out computations that are important for our sense of vision, such as detecting changes in contrast or estimating the orientation of an object. He will ask how these computations are modified in response to changes in visual input that lead to adaptive changes in processing, and in response to neuromodulators that alter circuit function on longer timescales. He is particularly interested in defining the roles of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connections during these processing tasks. A feature of his approach is the imaging of activity across large populations of synapses and neurons. His guiding hypothesis is that the plasticity of neurotransmission plays a major part in altering the input-output relation of sensory circuits. The insight provided by this research will help us understand fundamental mechanisms by which neural circuits process information from a changing world.